Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monumenta Patrum Orthodoxographa: Attributed to St Methodius

This work was originally attributed to Methodius of Patara, a martyr bishop who died in the early fourth century, C.E. It was actually composed around 660-680 C. E. The real author is unknown, but the original was written in Syriac in the wake of the Islamic conquests and represented a Byzantine apocalyptic tradition that continued to exercise an important influence on Western Christian thought.


The prophecies attributed to St. Methodius of Patara (a martyred bishop of the 4th century) are some of the earliest post-biblical Christian prophecies extant. Most authoritative scholars now agree that the prophecies are the work of a pseudonymous author who wrote in Syriac circa 680 AD. The manuscript in question(Monumenta Patrum Orthodoxographa, 1569) was located in the Patrium Veterum Library nearly 1000 years after the death of St. Methodius.

The pseudo-Methodius collection comprises several distinguishable documents that recur in fragments in many other Medieval prophecies: a historical survey of the nations, beginning with Adam; Gideon's victory over the Ishmaelites; a history of Alexander the Great and Gog-Magog (the Huns, who will attack the world again in the latter days); the new Roman Empire and the ascendancy of Islam; the Moslem reign of terror; the victory of a holy Roman Emperor; and the overthrow of Gog-Magog by the Roman Emperor, the birth of the Antichrist, and the Last Judgment. The following excerpts may have some bearing on our future:

"A time will come when the enemies of Christ will boast: "We have subjected the earth and all its inhabitants, and the Christians cannot escape our hands." Then a Roman Emperor will arise in great fury against them... Drawing his sword, he will fall upon the foes of Christianity and crush them. Then peace will reign on earth, and priests will be relieved of all their anxieties.

"In the last period Christians will not appreciate the great grace of God who provided a monarch, a long duration of peace, a splendid fertility of the earth. They will be very ungrateful, lead a sinful life, in pride, vanity, unchastity, frivolity, hatred, avarice, gluttony, and many other vices, [so] that the sins of men will stink more than a pestilence before God. Many will doubt whether the Catholic faith is the true and only saving one and whether the Jews are correct when they still expect the Messiah. Many will be the false teachings and resultant bewilderment. The just God will in consequence give Lucifer and all his devils power to come on earth and tempt his godless creatures...

"...Then suddenly tribulation and distress will arise against them [the Moslems]. The King of the Greeks, i.e., the Romans, will come out against them in anger, roused as from a drunken stupor like one whom men had thought dead and worthless [Psalms 77:65]. He will go forth against them from the Ethiopian sea and will send the sword and desolation into Ethribus, their homeland, capturing their women and children living in the Land of Promise [Israel]. The sons of the king will come down with the sword and cut them off from the earth. Fear and trembling will rush upon them and their wives and their children from all sides. They will mourn their offspring, weeping over them and all the villages in the lands of their fathers. By the sword they will be given over into the hands of the king of the Romans -- to captivity, death, and decay.

"The King of the Romans will impose his yoke upon them seven times as much as their yoke weighed upon the earth. Great distress will seize them; tribulation will bring them hunger and thirst. They, their wives, and their children will be slaves and serve those who used to serve them, and their slavery will be a hundred times more bitter and hard. The earth which they destituted will then be at peace; each man will return to his own land and to the inheritance of his fathers... Every man who was left captive will return to the things that were his and his fathers', and men will multiply upon the once desolated land like locusts. Egypt will be desolated, Arabia burned with fire, the land of Ausania burned, and the sea provinces pacified. The whole indignation and fury of the King of the Romans will blaze forth against those who deny the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the earth will sit in peace and there will be great peace and tranquillity upon the earth such as has never been nor ever will be any more, since it is the final peace at the End of Time...

"Then the "Gates of the North" will be opened and the strength of those nations which Alexander shut up there will go forth. The whole earth will be terrified at the sight of them; men will be afraid and flee in terror to hide themselves in mountains and caves and graves. They will die of fright and very many will be wasted with fear. There will be no one to bury the bodies. The tribes which will go forth from the North will eat the flesh of men and will drink the blood of beasts like water. They will eat unclean serpents, scorpions, and every kind of filthy and abominable beast and reptile which crawls upon the earth. They will consume the dead bodies of beasts of burden and even women's abortions. They will slay the young and take them from their mothers and eat them. They will corrupt the earth and contaminate it. No one will be able to stand against them.

"After a week of years, when they have already captured the city of Jappa, the Lord will send one of the princes of his host and strike them down in a moment. After this the King of the Romans will go down and live in Jerusalem for seven and a half-seven times, i.e., years. When the ten and a half years are completed the Son of Perdition will appear.

"He will be born in Chorazaim, nourished in Bethsaida, and reign in Capharnaum. Chorazim will rejoice because he was born in her, and Capharnaum because he will have reigned in her. For this reason in the Third Gospel the Lord gave the following statement: "Woe to you, Chorazaim, woe to you Bethsaida, woe to you Capharnaum --- if you have risen up to heaven, you will descend to hell" [Luke 10:13, 15]. When the Son of Perdition has arisen, the King of the Romans will ascend Golgotha upon which the wood of the Holy Cross is fixed, in the place where the Lord underwent death for us. The king will take the crown from his head and place it upon the cross and stretching out his hands to heaven will hand over the kingdom of the Christians to God the Father. The cross and crown of the king will be taken up together to heaven. This is because the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ hung for the common salvation of all will begin to appear before him at his coming to convict the lack of faith of the unbelievers. The prophecy of David which says, "In the last days Ethiopia will stretch out her hand to God" [Psalm 67:32] will be fulfilled in that these last men who stretch out their hands to God are from the seed of Chuseth, the daughter of Phol, king of Ethiopia. When the Cross has been lifted up on high to heaven, the King of the Romans will directly give up his spirit. Then every principality and power will be destroyed that the Son of Perdition may manifest...

"When the Son of Perdition appears, he will be of the tribe of Dan, according to the prophecy of Jacob. This enemy of religion will use a diabolic art to produce many false miracles, such as causing the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the deaf to hear. Those possessed with demons will be exorcised. He will deceive many and, if he could, as our Lord has said, even the faithful elect.

"Even the Antichrist will enter Jerusalem, where he will enthrone himself in the temple as a god (even though he will be an ordinary man of the tribe of Dan to which Judas Iscariot also belonged).

"In those days, the Antichrist will bring about many tribulation; but God will not allow those redeemed by the divine blood to be deceived. For that reason, he will send his two servants, Enoch and Elias, who will declare the prodigies of the Antichrist to be false, and will denounce him as an impostor. After the death and ruin of many, he will leave the Temple in confusion; and many of his followers will forsake him to join the company of the righteous. The seducer, upon seeing himself reproached and scorned, will become enraged and will put to death those saints of God. It is then that there will appear the sign of the Son of Man, and he will come upon the clouds of heaven."


http://www.rexresearch.com/prophist/phf3eu~1.htm#PHF31


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